How does one lose weight and keep it off? Just making up your mind usually doesn’t work for most of us. I have met and witnessed so many people who seem to live their lives on diets. Many who are quite overweight and yet have had no success with any diet, or at least not for very long once they go off the diet. Perhaps food is serving some unfulfilled emotional desire for them. However the why is not of particular importance in the schema of keeping weight off. The how, what and when is best to look at if one wants to shift their belief system and change their habits around food. In the depths of our brain is a part called the Reptilian Brain. It functions out of instinct, out of desire, yearning wants; it has no thought process connected to it. When you have an overwhelming urge for a food that will keep weight on you or put more on, it is this part of your brain that is kicking in. Have you been sleepwalking to your kitchen lately in the middle of the night?
So, how to work with this part of your brain? Shifting your behavior is the answer. If you are obese or just overweight than you have developed unhealthy habits that give you pleasure, as with all habits when you repeat them they become unconscious and you ‘just do it’. 1st imagine yourself at a weight that is healthy for you. Clearly visualize yourself at that weight. Perhaps creating a vision board, using other people’s bodies that look to be your ideal weight and attaching your head to the bodies can be a helpful way to reinforce your visualization of yourself at your ideal weight. 2nd, once a week let go of one unhealthy eating habit and substitute it with a healthy eating habit. If you continue this for one year you will have let go of 52 unhealthy eating habits and replaced them with 52 healthy ones. Repetition is what allows habits to hold fast and for us to shift our behaviors. Yes, it really works!
Most of us who are or have been obese would prefer a magic wand, but setting your intention to shift your habits from unhealthy ones to healthy ones and repeating that behavior is the 1st step towards having a healthy body and keeping it healthy. Another technique that works well when the reptilian brain is kicking in and you begin to go unconscious as you walk to your refrigerator to open it and eat something you are having an urge for is to imagine all kinds of huge cockroaches and maggots in your pasta or living inside the bread. Imagine that when you take a bite you will be biting into many cockroaches as they are cooked in the pasta, some are still alive, waving at you with their antenna, beckoning you to eat the pasta…some are waiting for you to take a bite of that bread so they can wiggle their antenna and turn their heads to look at you as you crunch upon their backs. So whatever food you have urges for, imagine cockroaches, maggots and other decaying matter living happily in your food choice.
Yes these techniques really do work. As a cognitive behavioral therapist and hypnotherapist my clients have had great success using the above techniques in losing weight and keeping it off. I myself have had great success as well. Although I have never been truly obese, my tendency in life was to go up and down. I do hope this is helpful and brings you hope!